|You may not be able to install Win ME or previous on your mboard if this applies:|
"Take a look at the support info for your mboard model on the manufacturer's web site. Some more recent mboards cannot be used with operating systems ME and previous and if so that's usually obviously stated. "
but you should have no problems installing XP from the CD. As far as I know there is no such thing yet as a mboard that can only be used with Vista.
"I disabled all onboard everything that I could that wouldn't disable the whole system...."
If you disabled anything in the bios Setup, that isn't what I asked you to do. I said.....
"Try unplugging everything, including card in slots, that's not necessary to run Setup ..."
Go into the bios Setup and load bios defaults.
Then try installing XP from the CD.
"Step 1 it copied the files to the directory it wanted, then rebooted. Once it started, it gave a PCI.SYS protection fault blue screen of death."
You should get NO ERRORS reading files from the Windows CD, and Setup should complete successfully.
If you DO get errors
1. Setup is very sensitive to errors reading files from the CD.
- cleaning the CD
- using a laser lens cleaning CD in the drive
- if the CD is a burned copy it may not work properly or read properly unless the cd is a CD-R disk unless the disk was made in the drive it is being read in
2. Setup is very sensitive to even tiny ampunts of errors reading the ram, even ones that may not cause noticable problems otherwise.
See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:
Test the ram to make sure you are getting no errors.
If you do a ram test, do that AFTER having tried cleaning the contacts and making sure the ram is seated properly - otherwise any errors found may be FALSE.
If the ram is incompatible with the chipset, it will likely FAIL a ram test - that is NOT a true indication of the ram being faulty - there is probably nothing wrong with it, and it will pass the test if installed in a mboard it is compatible with.
If a ram test DOES find errors, if you have more than one module installed, try the test with one module at a time - sometimes they won't work properly when more than one is installed, but it will pass when by itself.
If you want to try a memory diagnostic utility that takes a lot less time to run a full pass than memtest86 does, this one is pretty good - Microsoft's
Windows Memory Diagnostic:
It can be toggled (press T) to do a standard or a more comprehensive set of tests - use the default 6 test one first - if it passes one pass of that, use the latter one. A few of the tests in the latter set are intentionally slower.
If you don't have a floppy drive, see the Quick Start Information at that Microsoft link for how to make a bootable CD of the Windows Memory Diagnostic (you need Windiag.iso - you don't necessarily need to use the program they mention to add it to the CD).
After you have gotten through Setup successfully....
When Setup is finished, there are usually entries in Device Manager with Unknown or yellow ? beside them for some things XP does not have the drivers built in for. When you look in System Information, those same things may be listed as problem devices.
You need to load thedrivers for those devices.
Whenever you load Windows from a regular Windows CD (or DVD) from scratch, after Setup is finished you must load the drivers for the mboard, particularly the main chipset drivers, in order for Windows to have the proper drivers for and information about your mboard hardware, including it's AGP or PCI-E, ACPI, USB 2.0 if it has it, and hard drive controller support. If you have a generic system and have the CD that came with the mboard, all the necessary drivers are on it. If you load drivers from the web, brand name system builders and mboard makers often DO NOT have the main chipset drivers listed in the downloads for your model - in that case you must go to the maker of the main chipset's web site, get the drivers, and load them.